Kalamata Olive Tapenade

Kalamata Olive Tapenade

I often enjoy making a meal out of an assortment of small bite-sized or finger foods, as though my kitchen had a miniature tapas menu. Depending on the theme of the meal, a homemade olive tapenade is almost an essential component, and it's perfect for spreading over crackers, crusty bread or flatbreads, and so simple to make that it leaves me time to put together any of the more complex features of the meal.

But best of all, a tapenade is full of the robust flavor of olives, making it an immediate attraction for any olive fan you're hoping to please — especially if you're the olive fan. This tapenade has especially robust flavors as I've included sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and plenty of herbs in addition to a generous quantity of plump irrestible Kalamata olives. You can use any kind of olive you enjoy the most — green or black, Italian, French, Spanish or Greek — or a combination of your favorites, but Kalamata olives have a meaty texture and distinctive wine-like flavor that give this tapenade extra vibrancy and punch.

Kalamata Olive TapenadeKalamata Olive Tapenade
Recipe by
Cuisine: Italian
Published on July 29, 2019

Bold flavored fresh tapenade made with Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and herbs

Preparation: 10 minutes

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  • 1 1/2 cups Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients and process until you have a thick paste, adding more oil as needed so that the paste is moist. Adjust for seasoning.

  • Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Olive Tapenade

Other recipes featuring olives that you will enjoy:
Kalamata Olive Bread with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Homemade Olive Tapenade Pizza
Greek Feta & Olive Frittata
Marinated Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus with Olives
Black Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus

Audio Accompaniment: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Allah Hoo Allah Hoo (live at WOMAD Yokohama 1992)

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